Lumberg Theatre

38 Falls Street,
Niagara Falls, NY 14303

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 8, 2014 at 5:14 am

From sometime in 1925 through the first part of 1926, the Lumberg Theatre was called the Ritz Theatre. This web page features a December 19, 1925, ad for the Ritz.

The Wednesday, August 18, 1926, issue of the Niagara Falls Gazette said that the Lumberg Theatre would reopen under its old name the following Sunday as the exclusive home of first-run Paramount films in Niagara Falls. Atlas had closed the house for several weeks to renovate and to upgrade the theater’s mechanical systems.

The June 29, 1928, issue of the Gazette reported that the Lumberg Theatre and an adjoining store building had been razed and would be replaced by a new store for the S. S. Kresge company. The article noted that A. M. Atlas had taken over operation of the Lumberg Theatre in 1925, and had recently disposed of the building. It also noted that the adjacent store building had housed the city’s first storefront movie theater early in the century. It didn’t give that theater’s name, but it had been operated by Benjamin Goodman, who had previously run a restaurant in the space.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 8, 2014 at 3:59 am

A “25 years ago” feature in the July 9, 1941, issue of the Niagara Falls Gazette reveals that the 1916 opening of the Lumberg Theatre cited in my first comment was indeed a reopening after an expansion. “The theater owners had purchased the adjoining store of George B.Clark which permitted the doubling of the auditorium capacity” the article said.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 8, 2014 at 2:05 am

There was also a Lumberg Theatre in Utica. The Lumberg Theatre in Niagara Falls might have had at least one other location besides the one listed in Billboard in 1910, or perhaps the original theater was rebuilt or expanded. This item is from The Moving Picture World of July 15, 1916:

“Barney Lumberg of the Lumberg theater, Utica, and his brother, Harris Lumberg, were Buffalo callers. The Lumberg theater at Niagara Falls will be opened shortly.”
This could have been the 800-seat house listed in the 1927 FDY. Still later there might have been a third location, or a new theater with another name owned by the Lumbergs. This item is from the May 21, 1921 issue of The American Contractor:
“Theater & Stores: $500,000. 1 & 2 sty. 99x208. 3rd St., bet. Niagara & Ferry sts., Niagara Falls. Archt. I. M. Lewis, 503 Congress bldg., Detroit, Mich. Owner H. Lumberg. 36 Falls st., Niagara Falls. Brk. Sketches.”
Cinema Treasures does not currently have a theater listed on 3rd Street between Niagara Street and Ferry Avenue. Google satellite view doesn’t show any buildings fitting the project’s description on that block, either, so if the place was built it has probably been partly or completely demolished.